One of the core functions of the ego is to provide self-valuation which regulates emotions. A person with narcissistic personality disorder lacks this essential capability. The ego is undeveloped and dysfunctional. Blinded. “The room has the lights off”. In order to do valuation and thus materialize/persist the self-image, it resorts to external valuation. It is a seek for external “light” that can light up the self-image otherwise dark and hence dead. This is not looking for something nice to have, that is a fight for life! Absence of it means feeling dead, disconnected from the self. Now, all this has tremendous consequences. The chronic and obsessive need to build up and preserve the image for external to view and value is the primary (mal)function – “modus-operandi”. Only external valuation based on admiration, appreciation, sense of importance can “bring light” and “life”. With absence of it, the balance is off and it leads to a painful state (narcissistic injury). Fight for life justifies anything. There is no place for empathy, altruism, love, and others. There is one and only objective – get new narcissistic supply!
A great talk by Dr. Alfried Laengle. Highly recommend.